PROGRAMS \ Exhibitions


Civic Women 2018-19

This exhibition sets up a dialogue and invites intersections of working women in a traditional, rural environment with a dozen international artists. Curated by Lydia Matthews, of the New School in New York, this project is a seed to inspire women to take action in their local communities encouraging civil society to flourish, while giving themselves a more powerful voice in the rural regions of the country. There will be an art intervention in our local villages of the sumava region, with an exhibition and symposium at ArtMill later in the summer.


Each artist/scholar will be invited to create a project in the community with a local woman; a farmer, a politician, a home maker, a teacher, a seamstress, and a jewelry maker. Possible themes, given our local agrarian environment might be: alternatives to chemical pesticides; citizen participation in voting; education of our children; employment for women and equity in the workforce; creative, expressive possibilities for women in rural communities.  


A symposium on the outcomes, “Social Practice Arts & the Intersection of Rural Communities”, will take place in conjunction with an annual music festival at Mirenice in 2019. The results of the projects will be presented by both the artist and selected local women on the theme of civil society, art, and grass-roots political action. A catalogue will document the visual outcomes of the project, with essays and interviews by the invited artist/scholars and local women.


Our goals are to unite the local community via collaborative projects with an international base that will encourage strengthening democratic roots of social engagement and civic responsibility. The combination of local women with foreign artists and scholars will not only empower the female population in this region, setting examples of participatory democracy, but spread the history of Czechoslovakia’s First Republic to the rest of the world.


Coincidentally, 2018 will commemorate the 100th anniversary of Červeny Mlýn’s renovation to one of the first turbine-powered flour mills in the country, contributing to the industrial and cultural life of the inter-war democracy. This project also celebrates the long tradition of Czech-US relations during the spring celebrations of the liberation of our region by US troops from Nazi Occupation, helping to promote open borders and mutual collaboration.

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The two year long interaction/documentation project titled Civic Women, will kick off at  the ArtMill Barn Gallery July 29, 2018. It is part of a larger co-operation with other art + farmers across Europe, including Spain, France, and Italy. 

Participating Artists include:

Elaine Buckholtz (USA)

Adonis Volanakis (Greece)

Bahar Behbahani (Iran/USA)

Susanne Cockrell (USA)

Sarah K. Khan (Pakistani-American)

Meeta Mastani (India)

GE Patterson (USA)

Mine Ovacik  (Turkey) 

Sonya Clark (USA)

Lydia Matthews is a curator, writer, educator, artist and cultural activist who works closely with visual artists, designers, traditional artisans, musicians, dancers, multidisciplinary scholars, students and local residents to envision and realize cultural projects that address challenging aspects within people's everyday lives. Her essays appear in numerous journals and exhibition catalogs internationally. Commissioned by Fulbright, Open Society Foundation, Trust for Mutual Understanding, CEC Artslink, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Emre Senan Foundation and the US Embassy, her participatory curatorial projects in New York, the Post-Soviet region, Turkey and Southern Europe span exhibitions, urban arts festivals, and multidisciplinary pedagogical exchanges addressing ecological and social sustainability. She currently serves as Professor in Visual Culture/Fine Arts and the Founding Director of the Curatorial Design Research Lab at Parsons School of Design at The New School in New York City.




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